NEW YORK • Peyton Manning has retired from the National Football League (NFL), the Denver Broncos said on Sunday, bringing the curtain down on a glittering 18-year career just weeks after becoming the oldest quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
The 39-year-old had vowed to take his time in reaching a decision about his future after helping the Broncos to an upset victory over the Carolina Panthers on Feb 8.
However, Manning informed the Broncos that he is ready to retire and will formally announce the decision at a press conference early this morning (Singapore time) .
"When you look at everything Peyton has accomplished as a player and person, it's easy to see how fortunate we've been to have him on our team," John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice-president for football operations and general manager, told DenverBroncos.com.
"Peyton was everything we thought he was and even more - not only for the football team, but in the community."
The son and brother of NFL quarterbacks, Manning was a league royal who, in his years with the Indianapolis Colts and the Broncos, earned a record five Most Valuable Player awards and two Super Bowl titles.
His NFL records include most career passing yards, most touchdown passes, most game-winning drives, most games started and most wins as a starting quarterback.
Chosen as the first overall draft pick in 1998, he was also one of the NFL's most telegenic players, a regular television presence pitching cars, pizza, insurance and other products, and a favourite with the sports media for much of his career.
According to Spotrac, an online database for sports salaries, Manning earned more than US$248 million (S$343.2 million) during his career, not including income from endorsements and off-field ventures.
Yet, he leaves the league amid some controversy, including a renewed focus on a sexual harassment case from his days at the University of Tennessee and allegations, raised in an Al-Jazeera documentary, that he used human growth hormone to help recover from a neck injury a few years ago.
NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE